September 30, 2019

Farewell to Europe

by Rosemary

We flew to Lyon, where we rented a car and drove to the city center. Lyon is the third largest city in France, but it has a traditional look and pedestrian-friendly streets that make it seem more like a small town.

Many streets still have names indicating the trades and professions that were located here in medieval times.

The city is built on two great rivers, the Rhône and the Saône. Between the rivers, the city center is on a strip of land known as the Peninsula. We indulged ourselves by booking a luxury room at a grand hotel overlooking the main square.

It was too cold to ride the ferris wheel.

The main square was the location for Yellow Vest protests.

On our first full day in town, We rode the funicular up a steep hill to Notre-Dame Basilica, built in the 1800s as a tribute to the Virgin Mary, who was credited with saving the city from the Prussians. The church is decorated with huge mosaics celebrating history and legend.

In 43 AD, Lyon was founded as the Roman city Lugdunum. Its ancient history is documented in the Gallo-Roman Museum, next to the old Roman theaters.

2000 years later, the Roman theater is still a popular concert venue.

The church of Saint Bonaventure is known for its colorful stained glass.

We had intended to spend a few more days in Lyon before enjoying a week at a beach resort on the French Riviera. However, a medical problem brought our plans to an end. Fortunately, we had purchased a good travel insurance policy before we left the US. Insurance covered our medical expenses and paid for our flight back to the States. We arrived in Los Angeles in mid January.

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